A PAIR of blockbuster trades involving superstars and key players were completed Thursday and are expected to shake-up the landscape in the Philippine Basketball Association in its next season.
After months of finding himself in constant trade talks and rumors, James Yap was finally shipped by Star to Rain or Shine for Paul Lee in a superstar-for-superstar trade.
This was a shocking development, though Yap has been the subject of trade rumors for months now.
Both the Hotshots and the Painters are now bound to go in different directions with their respective franchises after giving away their top guns.
In a separate swap, the Elasto Painters then traded improved slotman JR Quinahan to GlobalPort in exchange for veteran swingman Jay Washington.
Both Rain or Shine and GlobalPort were said to be very happy with this move as they will be given an instant boost by the new players they acquired, with Quinahan adding the much-needed beef for the Batang Pier inside, and Washington giving the Painters versatility in the wing positions.
Yap, who will now play for just his second team since entering the league in 2004, is set to become the new face of the Elasto Painters while Lee is expected to be the same for the Hotshots.
Rain or Shine and Lee, a free agent, were in the middle of discussing a new contract for the latter, reportedly a three-year deal, but in a sudden swerve, the Elasto Painters dealt Lee for Yap in a snap.
Even with their new teams and their new roles in the coming season, Lee and Yap, incidentally both from the University of the East, are still expected to be relevant forces.
Lee will very likely receive a lucrative offer from Star as he will definitely be the one to take Yap’s place as the franchise player of the team.
This will be a reunion of sorts for Yap, Washington and the Elasto Painters as the two were key components back in the old Philippine Basketball League days wherein they led Welcoat to several titles there.
These two crucial transactions formally started Rain or Shine’s rebuilding process after coach Yeng Guiao left for NLEX last week.
The Elasto Painters are also dealing with a contract dispute with free agent big man Beau Belga as the two parties will know early next week whether they’ll be able to reach an agreement or not.